Monday, September 22, 2008

The Difficult Kind

Right when you think you're an old lady and you have it all figured out, the Universe throws you a curveball. The further away from your twenties you get, the easier it is to forget who you were, how you lived your life and how you treated the people in your life.  

I've never hidden the fact that I lived my life selfishly before I got married for the second (and final) time and had my girls.  I did.  No question. After years of contemplation, I came to the conclusion that the way I dealt with my insecurities was to live with wild abandon and, unfortunately, recklessly.  The hardest part of this revelation was dealing with what felt like so many years wasted. Were they wasted?  Did it help or hurt my life that I chose to be so free-spirited?  And then, of course, the self-deprecation kicks in.  Why couldn't I be more together like my siblings? Why wasn't it enough to just live life in a mapped out fashion like everyone else? What was wrong with me?

As you can imagine, living like a gypsy lends to many friendships going by the wayside.  I always accepted that it was part of the deal....it wasn't my fault that these people came and went.  It was just life.  But, like a freight train, it hit me last week that it wasn't part of the deal. It was part of the problem.

I made a very selfish decision years ago to sacrifice one relationship for another.  I cast aside a friend of many years for a man.  A man, people.  The original betrayal where girlfriends are concerned. I sheepishly wore the scarlet letter on my chest for years after while I fought and suffered under this man.  And, years later, I walked away from him as well.  I always figured it was all for nothing and just one more bad choice to add to my long list of bad choices.  

But I always thought of her.  I wondered how she was, where she was, what she was doing.  I looked for her sporadically but to no avail.  And, suddenly, there she was on my Facebook page under the "People You Might Know" list.  So, like I was in my twenties again, I traipsed out on the ledge...and contacted her.  And the most surprising part?  She responded. I sat there looking at my inbox, slightly terrified to open her response.  But I did open it and I'll never be the same again.  Thankfully.  

What transpired from there was nothing short of what felt like a miracle.  The exchange started between us, the hurt welled up in both of us, the anger reared its ugly head and her words were harsh and direct.....and, as always, the shame overpowered me. I said I was sorry.  So sorry.  And, she forgave me.  And, the most enlightening part of it was, in her forgiveness I was able to forgive myself. Forgive myself for being wild, for all the years of running, for all the times I put myself in harm's way, for living with wild abandon and recklessly hurting those in my path.....namely, myself. I forgave myself for believing what others had told me so many times....that I wasn't worth it. But she forgave me and, in doing so, showed me I was worth it. Worth picking up the pieces and moving on.

So, it turns out I just might be an old lady after all.  But I am an old lady that is discovering who she really is, coming to terms with how she has lived her life and choosing how to live it from now on. And that's good enough....for me.


(This is my theme song of late.)

The Difficult Kind

I think I was wrong
I think you were right
That all my angry words
Will keep me up at night
And through the old screen door
I still hear you say
Oh, Honey won't you stop
Treating me that way

Tell it to me slow
Tell me with your eyes
If anyone should know
How to let it slide
I swear I can see you
Coming up the drive
And there ain't nothing like regret
To remind you you're alive

I crossed the canyon a thousand times
But never noticed what was mine
What you'll remember of me tonight
Well, it almost makes me cry

Oh ballbreaking moon and ridiculing stars
The older I get, the closer you are
Don't you have somewhere that you need to be
Instead of hanging here making a fool of me

If you could only see
What love has made of me
Then I'd no longer be in your mind
The difficult kind
But you won't see the change in me
If you could only see
What love has made of me
But I'll forever be in your mind
The difficult kind
But you won't see
No you won't see
The good in me
But babe I've changed
Cause babe I've changed

4 comments:

  1. N- this is just beautiful. I cried. Partly because I could relate to so much of it and partly for you and the happiness I feel for you.

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  2. Sigh. You cut right to the heart of so much of my pain, sweetie. I've done the same thing, and felt the guilt, made the excuses. How wonderful that you've seen the other side!

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  3. oh, nannette... you wise ol' soul. the lesson wouldn't have been as profound had you not had the same journey. and look who you've become-- a beautiful, sensitive, TALENTED, funny, sweet mom and wife and woman. many of us have a tendency to slash and burn our way through life. it's a rare and wonderful few that stop to till and nurture the ground beneath us.

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  4. I look up to you in a silly way. In large part because I feel like I'm going through a lot of what you went through right now.

    Oh and the bebe in my post is my foster sister Maddie! My parents have been taking in foster kids since I was four.

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